Closing the Gap- UNODC Pakistan Country Office Commemorates World AIDS Day

"Close the Gap" is the theme of this year's World AIDS Day. Under the leadership of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Pakistan the World AIDS Day commemoration called for closing the gap to make available HIV prevention, treatment and care for all. This means everyone should have equal yet equitable access to HIV testing and counselling, treatment and prevention services. 

UNODC assists the Government of Pakistan and civil society organisations in their efforts to expand access to HIV prevention, treatment and care services for people who use drugs and people in prisons. By doing so UNODC supports efforts to prevent new infections among the most marginalised individuals lending support to the global target of ending AIDS by 2030.  

Like every year, UNODC Pakistan Country office promoted the World AIDS Day theme and reached out to the general public through a ten day radio programme on HIV prevention and treatment gaps. "Close the Gap" campaign was aired nation-wide through radio talk shows and live discussions on strategy and policy, featuring the role and response by the Government of Pakistan, the civil society organisations and the UN in curbing the HIV epidemic in Pakistan. 

On the ground partner NGOs across all four provinces arranged medical camps with free HIV and Hepatitis B and C testing facility, seminars, awareness sessions and stage shows. 

As a cosponsor of UNAIDS, UNODC joined panel discussion jointly organised by ILO and UNAIDS on the occasion of the World AIDS Day in Islamabad. Heads of agencies of the United Nations, senior officials from the Government of Pakistan, NGOs, CSOs and representatives of the affected communities were present. 

Mr. Cesar Guedes, Representative, UNODC Pakistan Country Office shared the mandate and role of UNODC in addressing HIV epidemics among people who use drugs and prisoners. In his talk he highlighted the importance of addressing drug related HIV epidemics and the need to close the prevention and treatment gap, leaving no-one behind.